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tv   [untitled]    July 16, 2012 5:30am-6:00am PDT

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establish the san francisco's museum of acan dispra and numerous other civic projects in our area. bella davis has challenged and successfully overcome both race and gender-based discrimination in the journalism profession with courage and fortitude. she's brought untold stories of african-americans and women out into the mainstream news, giving them the attention and respect they deserve. you are an outstanding citizen that has changed the face of television news and shed light on many of the most significant stories of our era. you have inspired all of us for decades with your grace. your dignity, your strength and your purpose. and with that, i would like to present to you this well-deserved award, the matthew o. tobreaner award for
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20126789 please come on up. for 2012. please come on up. [applause] >> and of course, i will take this wonderful opportunity to add something from the city that i get to do and that is, of course, to proclaim this to be belva davis day in san francisco. [applause]
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>> well, thank you so much, mayor ed lee, for those kind remarks, and most of all, thank you for taking the time to be here. i know there are many, many other bells that are ringing for your presence, so my much appreciation to you. and to this room of distinguished attendees, to the leaders and staff of this life-changing organization, the employment law center of the legal aid society, and to all who followed the arc of history as it bends towards justice. thank you for this honor. i have been blessed with a long life of surprises and miracles. and one of them, or all of them, have been fueled by hope
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and the promise of america. and a america that promises liberty and justice for all. why else would a female black child, born during the really great depression of the 1930's in the deep south envision and dream a life so far from her reality? it is that promise of liberty and justice that continues to fuel impossible dreams around the world today, and it is this promise that's kept so many of you working long past the hours for which you are being compensated for. because you are willing to sacrifice for those of us whose dreams depend upon your skills. my family migrated to california because of my uncle ezra. a man with no formal education,
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but one brave enough to file a lawsuit during the frightening days of the depression. he filed a lawsuit against his employer, a major manufacturer after he was injured on the job. it took years for me to understand his bravery. i'm here because a young white lawyer filed that suit on his behalf. and a mysterious louisiana judge ruled in his favor. all seemingly impossible things for the era. but one day a check for $2,000 did arrive. and i went with my uncle and aunt to berkeley to pay for their house on ashby avenue. i saw the check. it was a miracle that he did not pay the price of being tarred and feathered as promised by the white men of monroe, louisiana.
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it was uncle ezra that led my immediate family on their exodus from the south. so no matter how hard i am willing to work to get into broadcasting, i was willing, it could not have happened without help. and in this case, again, someone we didn't know, the president of our country, lyndon johnson's courage to sign and authorize the civil rights act of 1964 easing the color line in hiring, permitted me to be brave enough to go out and to apply for a job doing work i'd seen no one else do. no matter how often i recited my mann take -- my mantra, to not be afraid of the space between my dreams and reality, promising myself that if i
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dreamed it, i could make it happen. i could make it come true. but without the courage of those who had marched defiantly, rode buses, sat in at lunch counters and took the beatings and cruelty that went with seeking justice in those times, my dreams would not have been possible. it is a promise of america that keeps me and millions around the world dreaming, hoping, working, and pledging to not be afraid of the unknown. that space between our dreams and our reality. because we're counting on those of you stellar scholars, powerful leaders, to continue to love liberty and the promise of america and fight for justice to help us realize our dreams. i'm so honored to receive this award named for such a distinguished chief justice of our state.
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i am more than flattered to even have been thought of to stand here today. for a woman who comes from my background, as i told you, a woman who did not go to college , but did not let it deter her from dreaming big dreams. i just want to affirm for you whatever the sacrifices you with talent have that can help those most in need of help, i thank you for them. we need you. we would like to continue our dreams, too. thank you so much. [applause]
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